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Washington State HC Mike Leach on Gardner Minshew: ‘[There are] guys elsewhere in the league that aren’t as ready to play as him.’

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has a lot of new fans, but one who has known him for longer than Jacksonville fans is his college coach — Washington State’s Mike Leach.

As the architect of the Air Raid offense, Minshew was no stranger to throwing the ball in college. He attempted 662 passes last year, throwing for 4,776 yards (an astounding 7.2 yards per attempt for that many passes!) and finishing fifth in the Heisman voting.

Demetrius Harvey of Locked On Jaguars recently sat down with Leach and asked him about Minshew. The interview in full is here, but this quote stood out to me:

“He’s very committed ... I think he’ll be more ready down the road, but I also think he’s a great player. [There are] guys elsewhere in the league that aren’t as ready to play as him — and several won’t ever be. I do think he will be very productive, and I think he’ll do a good job. He’s an incredibly smart guy so he can pick things up quickly.”

Leach is no bullshitter. So when he’s as pointed as he is with his opinion on Minshew here, it’s worth taking note. And from watching Minshew’s debut last Sunday, it’s clear Leach may be on to something.

More than Minshew’s box score — which is nearly unbelievable for a sixth round rookie working off of no practice reps — was his poise. He was confident and poised from his first snap. He never really looked fazed. And he was going through his progressions just as quickly and seamlessly as any young veteran.

Read the entirety of Mike Leach’s interview at Locked On Jaguars here.